It is rare that people have no soap at all, rather the soap that they do have is prioritized for other tasks such as bathing, laundry or dishwashing. If this is the case try implementing activities that remind people of the power of soap. Also remind people in your area that any type of soap can be used for handwashing (see ‘Are some types of soap more effective than others?’) including cheap soap that is often used for laundry. You can also suggest that people create soapy water (see ‘Can soapy water be used?). If you are working in an area where soap is unaffordable for people or is unavailable then using ash may be better than handwashing alone (see ‘Can ash be used for handwashing?’). 

Photo of a public handwashing facility in Tanzania where they have created a laundry powder dispenser from a bottle.

Want to know more about COVID-19 and handwashing? 

Editor's note

Author: Sian White
Review: Katie Greenland, Ammar Fawzi
Last update: 13.04.2020

Did this answer your question?